Low turnout for Knesset meeting on freeze damage

Likud speakers among the most critical of government policy.

By REBECCA ANNA STOIL
June 29, 2010 05:13
3 minute read.
Danon

Danon . (photo credit: courtesy)

A Monday Knesset conference on damages incurred by the partial building moratorium was characterized by a small turnout, but those that did show up were treated to impassioned speakers.

The conference, sponsored by the National Union, was attended by MKs from a number of right-wing parties. But it was the Likud speakers in attendance who were among the most critical of the freeze.

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“It is illegal for us to have been elected to the Knesset with a clear platform, but [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu is following a different platform,” said MK Danny Danon (Likud), who also stood behind last week’s Likud Central Committee resolution in favor of building in the West Bank.

“If it had been written in our platform that there would not be any building in Judea and Samaria, I would not be in the Knesset today, and Binyamin Netanyahu would not be prime minister,” Danon said. “The public elected the Likud after the uprooting of the disengagement because it knew that we would not exchange land for peace.”

Danon called on the heads of regional and city councils in the West Bank to work within the framework of the political parties, and to ensure that settlers and those who support them continue and increase registering new members “with all of the Zionist parties.”

“The biggest danger is all those who say that they are tired and that political activity did not help in Gush Katif,” Danon continued, referring to the main settlement bloc in the Gaza Strip that had been removed during the disengagement.

“If we allow despair to continue, we will have to struggle against the prime minister.

There is a majority within the general public for the rightwing position, and I call on the public to get involved.”

Ariel Mayor Ron Nachman was equally emphatic, telling the fewer-than-100 attendees that “I have no faith in the Supreme Court, I have no faith in the justice system and I have no faith in the law enforcement system. There was a state of neglect – after the orders for the [construction] moratorium were issued, there were no instructions given to the police.”

Nachman said that “the big cities like Ariel and Ma’ale Adumim had been turned into outposts,” adding that there was a “serious problem with the stupid policies of the government and the courts’ decisions.”

Nachman went on to say that he was “skeptical” about statements of what would happen in September, when the moratorium is scheduled to end.

“I see the situation as serious, but the only thing that can help is MKs from the Likud,” he said, “Nothing else will help until the Likud recovers. If the Likud does not understand that the building moratorium is the second Gush Katif and does not fix the situation through Knesset legislation, the government will take control and receive the Supreme Court’s support.”

What the conference did not manage to do was present a general assessment of the damage caused by the moratorium. As with previous assessments, only partial information was offered.

The head of the Council of Jewish Communities of Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip said that the settlements in his council were suffering from a shortage of 3,000 housing units.

“Three months before the end of the freeze, it is clear to everyone who was involved in the decision or in its execution that this has been a terrible mistake from the perspective of security, diplomacy, settlement, economy, morality, values and education,” said National Union Chairman MK Ya’acov Katz.


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